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Airbus drops lithium-ion battery, Boeing still confident

Boeing says it remains confident in the lithium-ion battery despite rival Airbus' decision to abandon the batteries following Boeing's problems. (AP image)

Airbus is giving up on the batteries that have caused so much trouble for the 787. But Boeing says it’s still confident in the lithium-ion technology despite recent incidents that prompted the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet.

The European airplane maker says it will switch to nickel-cadmium powerpacks on its new A350.

But in a statement today, Boeing says lithium-ion batteries deliver significant benefits “when the appropriate battery, system and airplane protections are in place.”

Here is the complete statement from Boeing:

“Boeing is confident in the safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries. Our years of experience and deep expertise confirm that, like other technologies, when the appropriate battery, system and airplane protections are in place, lithium-ion batteries deliver significant benefits. We are deeply involved with the appropriate investigation authorities in developing a full understanding of two recent battery events on 787s and are working tirelessly to create the solutions that will allow the 787 fleet to return to full flight status. There’s nothing we’ve learned in the investigations that would lead us to a different decision regarding lithium-ion batteries.”

Federal authorities grounded the Boeing 787 last month in the U.S. because of battery problems that caused one fire and one emergency landing. Boeing says nothing that has come up in the investigation would prompt the company to abandon the controversial battery.

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